1944 Music – Pop Standards and Artists

1944 Pop Standards and Artists

Bing Crosby
Would You Like To Swing On A Star
Too – Ra – Loo- Ra – Loo – Ra

Going My Way is a 1944 movie starring Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald. The story revolves around a young Priest, played by Bing Crosby, who comes secretly, to the aid of an older priest who is about to lose his parish. The older Priest, Father Fitzgibbon, was played by Barry Fitzgerald.” Would You Like To Swing On A Star”, and “Too – Ra – Loo – Ra – Loo – Ra”, were both parts of this motion picture. The film was not a musical as much as a film that involved music.

Would You Like To Swing On A Star, became the key to getting money to save the parish. The song has an interesting history. Jimmy Van Heusen, a songwriter working on the film was at Crosby’s house for dinner one evening. One of Crosby’s sons complained of not wanting to go to school the next day. Crosby looked at his son and said to him, “If you don’t go to school, you might grow up to be a mule. Do you wanna do that?” The rebuke became the inspiration for an Academy Award-winning song.

Too – Ra – Loo – Ra – Loo – Ra was actually written in 1914 by composer James Royce Shannon who lived from 1881 to 1946. The film used the song to sing the old priest, Father Fitzgibbon, to sleep after he had been caught in a bad storm. Though the song was written in 1914 the composer would live to see his song become a popular hit in 1944.

Judy Garland
The Trolley Song
Contrary to the way modern songs become hits, many of the hits of the 1920s, 30, and 40s, came from two major sources first, The Broadway Stage, and second The Movie Musical. And nobody made movie musicals like MGM studios. In 1944 a musical would be released starring Judy Garland and directed by Vincent Minnelli. The movie? Meet Me In St. Louis.

Meet Me In St Louis told the story of the Smith family, over one year. The movie starts in the summer and ends in the spring, with the opening of the St Louis World’s Fair. In the summer section, one of the daughters, Esther, played by Judy Garland, and a group of her friends are going to the fairgrounds to see what preparations are being made. And they are going by trolley. Garland sings a song that told the story of a young woman who meets the love of her life on a trolley. This would become one of the biggest hits of Garland’s career only outdone by Over The Rainbow.

Another significant point about Meet in St Louis is that one other song would become popular and take on a life of its own being recorded repeatedly by many artists. The song is, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” Another point from the personal life of Garland is this was where she met Vincent Minnelli, the two would marry and would produce Liza Minnelli. Meet Me In St Louis is considered by many movie scholars as one of the greatest films of all time.

Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters
Don’t Fence Me In
Cole Porter wrote the music for the song. The lyrics were adapted from a text by a poet and engineer with the Department of Highways, Robert (Bob) Fletcher, in Helena, Montana, in 1934. Porter bought Fletcher’s material for $250.00. The song was to be used in a movie musical to be produced by 20th Century Fox that ended up being shelved. 10 years later the song was resurrected for Roy Rodgers in the film, Hollywood Canteen. The first time America got introduced to the song was on Kate Smith’s radio program. The song hit full stride later in 1944 when Bing Crosby and The Andrews entered a recording studio and, having never heard the song before, recorded it in thirty minutes. This song version would top the charts from 1944 to 1945 for eight weeks.

The Mills Brothers
You Always Hurt The One You Love
With words by Allan Roberts and music by Doris Fisher, the song would become a standard to be recorded again and again over the years. When The Mills Brothers recorded it in 1944, it became a top seller. The song would stay on the pop charts for twenty weeks peaking at number one.

Helen Forrest and Dick Haymes
It Had To Be You
It Had To Be You, was written by Isham Jones with lyrics by Gus Khan in 1924. It would take 15 years to be heard. The song was used in the 1939 film, The Roaring Twenties. In 1944 When Helen Forrest Recorded the song as duet with Dick Haymes the song would hit Billboard Magazine’s bestsellers list on 09/14/44 and remain on the chart for five weeks, peaking at number 4. The song would be used many times over the years. Of special interest is to note that Dooley Wilson sang it in the 1945 film, Casablanca.

Merry Macs
Mairzy Doats
The song has its basis in an English Nursery Rhyme that was reworked into the song by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston in 1943. It took a year for the song to be published as no company wanted to publish a silly song, which could be considered a bit surprising as, Would You Like To Swing On A Star, was doing well for Bing Crosby. Eventually, the song would find a publisher and become a number one hit for The Merry Macs in March of 1944. This song was also popular with the soldiers in WWII where the lyrics were used as passwords.

The King Cole Trio
Straighten Up and Fly Right
This song was written by Nat King Cole and Irving Mills in 1943. It became a hit in 1944 and the most popular song the group produced. The single topped the pop charts at number nine. The song was recorded by artists such as The Andrews Sisters, Linda Ronstadt, and Lyle Lovett.

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Top Artists and Songs of 1944

Al Dexter and His Troopers
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight), Too Late To Worry Too Blue To Cry
Andrews Sisters
Shoo-Shoo Baby
Benny Carter
I’m Lost
Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters
Don’t Fence Me In, Victory Polka, A Hot Time In The Town Of Berlin, Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t (My baby)
Bing Crosby
Swinging on a Star, I Love You, I’ll Be Seeing You, San Fernando Valley, Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral, It Could Happen to You, Poinciana (Song Of The Tree), Amor
Charlie Barnet
Duke Ellington
Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me, Main Stem, Black Brown and Beige
Ernest Tubb
Soldier’s Last Letter
Frank Sinatra
A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening, I Couldn’t Sleep a wink last Night
Glen Gray
My Heart Tells Me, My Shing Hour
Guy Lombardo
Its Love Love Love, Speak Low (When you Speak, Love)
Harry James and Dick Haymes
I’ll Get By (As Long As I Have You)
Harry James
Cherry, Estrellita
Helen Forrest and Dick Haymes
Long Ago And Far Away, It Had To Be You, Together
I’ll Walk Alone
Dinah Shore
Ink Spots with Ella Fitzgerald
Cow-Cow Boogie (Cuma-Ti-Yi-Yi-Ay), Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall, I’m Making Believe
Ink Spots
A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening, I’ll Get By (As Long As I Have You)
Jimmy Dorsey
Besame Mucho, Star Eyes
Jo Stafford
It Could Happen to You
Joe Loss Orchestra
No Other Love, You’ll Never Know
Judy Garland
Trolley Song
King Cole Trio
Straighten Up And Fly Right
King Sisters
It’s Love-Love-Love
Lawrence Welk
Don’t You Sweetheart Me
Les Brown
Twilight Time
Lester Young
Just You Just Me
Lionel Hampton
Hamp’s Boogie Woogie
Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five
G.I. Jive
Louis Jordan
Ration Blues
Marlene Dietrich
Lili Marlene
Mary Martin
I’ll Walk Alone
Merry Macs
Mairzy Doats
Mills Brothers
You Always Hurt The One You Love, Till Then
Red Foley
Smoke on the Water
Russ Morgan
Dance With A Dolly (With A Hole In Her Stocking)
Stan Kenton
Artistry In Rhythm And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine
Tex Ritter
I’m Wasting My Tears On You
Vera Lynn
You’ll Never Know
Woody Herman
Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me
Xavier Cugat
Babalu, Amor